Compression Package Integrity Testing

Compression Package Warehousing and Ship Testing

What is Compressive Load Package Integrity Testing?

Package compression testing measures the strength of packaging to an applied constant load. Compression testing can occur hydraulically, pneumatically, or mechanically. The purpose of compression testing is to subject a package or container, whether filled or empty, to a fixed load.

Stacking testing is carried out very similarly to compression testing. A predetermined load is maintained for a predetermined time or until collapse occurs. If a collapse occurs, the value of the time elapsed is recorded, the dimensions are measured, and the contents of the package are examined. As a result, compression testing is an essential component in determining the suitability of packaging for transportation and storage.

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Why is Compression Package Testing Important?

In the distribution system, packages can be stored over a long period. It is not uncommon for the package to be stored with one or more containers stacked on top of each other. Failures can occur in any layer of the packaging.

By subjecting packages to rigorous compression testing, manufacturers can effectively evaluate and ensure the overall integrity of their packaging. Through this comprehensive evaluation, they can assess the suitability of their packaging design and materials.

Testing helps guarantee that packaging possesses the necessary strength and durability to withstand the various conditions encountered during the distribution and storage processes. As a result, this proactive approach helps minimize the occurrence of package failures. Additionally, it reduces the associated costs arising from returns, repairs, and reputational damage.

Furthermore, the implementation of compression packaging testing signifies a commitment to enhancing customer satisfaction. By delivering products that arrive in optimal condition, manufacturers can inspire confidence and trust among consumers, fostering a positive reputation in the market.

At Keystone Package Testing, our goal is to never over-test packages, ensuring we perform all the necessary functions. We also address any compression testing requirements our customers may have.

Compressive Strength Package Laboratory Test Process

Generally, a test lab and manufacturer collaborate on pass or fail test criteria. In many cases, passing criteria are defined as the unit being damage-free and intact. Note that the performance criteria must be established before the start of the testing.

Depending on the purpose of the test, interior packing may or may not be necessary. For most testing standards, multiple samples are recommended.

When required, the samples must be conditioned for the compression test by exposure to a fixed temperature and humidity conditions. Standard package conditioning test is ASTM D4332: Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components. This describes atmospheric temperatures, relative humidity, and times for packages to be conditioned.

A compression machine or weight is then used to apply a constant load to a package. Next, observations are made. If a collapse occurs, information regarding the collapse is recorded. This includes the damage to the container and its contents.

Lastly, a report is written with the following information. This list is not intended to encompass all the details of the report.

  • Dimensions of the container under test,
  • Description of the contents, if any,
  • Acceptance criteria that have been established,
  • Date, time, and name of the engineer conducting the test,
  • Any conditioning performed,
  • A report of the test results on each container.

Keystone’s Compression Test Equipment and Capabilities

Our new package testing laboratory includes multiple compression/tensile testers. We have dozens of climatic chambers with sizes ranging up to 1,300 cubic feet and shakers up to 12 kip.

ISTA 3 Series 3

ISTA Series 3 package integrity testing is a standardized method used to assess the performance of packaging systems during transport.

Compression resistance testing is a fundamental component of this series. However, ISTA Series 3 also includes the examination of other mechanical stresses such as vibration and drop. Additionally ISTA 3 assesses of the package’s capability to withstand varied atmospheric conditions. This is all aimed at determining its ability to safeguard the contents from potential damage.

ASTM D4577: Compression Resistance of Containers

Designed to subject a container, empty or filled, to a predetermined static load.

ASTM D4577 is used for palletized or unitized load configurations. In the distribution system, there is a phase where packages may be stored over a period of time. These packages may be stored in a manner such that one or more containers are stacked one upon another.

ISO 12048: Compression and Stacking

Used to model stacking in which the test investigates performance under particular conditions of load.

ISO 12048 evaluates packages in terms of performance in strength or the protection it offers to their contents. This test is applicable when the unit is subjected to compressive forces. The test method operates until failure occurs or until a predetermined load is applied for a predetermined time.

ISO 2234: Stacking Using Static Load

Assesses the strength of a package or unit load when subjected to stacking.

The test standard is also used to investigate package performance under particular conditions of loading. This occurs when the bottom package in a stack rests on an open-decked pallet or when the superimposed load has an eccentric profile. The ISO 2234 testing process applies an evenly distributed load on the unit from above.

Expert Packaging Compression Testing Laboratory

In addition to compression testing, we have a full scope of expertise including cold chain, flexible package, and accelerated aging. Additionally, our lab can test packages ranging from small boxes to oversized pallets. Keystone Package Testing is an ISO-17025 and ISTA accredited lab that provides the peace of mind that all your compliance testing needs are met.

Contact us for more information on compression testing. Keystone provides immediate scheduling, a consultative approach, and expedited reports.


Interested in the EMC/EMI, climatic, dynamic, shielding effectiveness, or IP Code testing of a product? Follow the corresponding links or for more information.